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Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age: The Reproductions of E. Gilliéron and Son

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Marble portrait of Marciana, sister of the emperor Trajan

Period:
Hadrianic
Date:
ca. A.D. 130–138
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
H. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1920
Accession Number:
20.200
  • Description

    During the last quarter of the first century A.D. and the early decades of the second century A.D., ever more complex hair arrangements were developed for the ladies of the imperial court. Hairpieces with added hair and concealed frameworks formed high diadem-like structures surrounding the face. One of the most elaborate constructions appears on the official portraits of Marciana, the elder sister of Trajan. The high polish and engraved eyes on this head suggest that it was carved during the Hadrianic period. The powerful women of Trajan’s family were much honored by his successor, Hadrian, who is said to have owed his throne to their influence. Marciana was the grandmother of Hadrian’s wife, Sabina.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1941. Roman Portraits, Vol. 2. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1948. Roman Portraits, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Thimme, Jürgen. 1976. Kunst und Kultur der Kykladeninseln im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr.: Ausstellung unter d. Patronat des International Council of Museums ICOM im Karlsruher Schloss vom 25. Juni-10. Oktober 1976. Karlsruhe: Müller, no. 99, p. 130.

  • See also
    What
    Where
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
250953

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